Northland family faces financial stress after thieves use ATM skimming device to steal from them

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Northland couple lost at least $600, apparently stolen by skimmers who took their credit card information when they stopped to get gas and paid at the pump with their bank card.

Kristina Smith says she got  gas Friday at a Northland Quiktrip, but didn't notice until Sunday that a large amount of money was missing.

"I checked my account before we went to lunch and I noticed $300 had been taken out of my account twice," said Smith.

Smith says neither she nor her husband had their cards stolen, so they're convinced they were the victim of skimmers.

Smith and her husband live paycheck-to-paycheck, and with five kids, the $600 loss is devastating.

"It affects me bad because I've been out for a couple of weeks due to health problems, first my van broke down then my husbands car broke down, and now our account is wiped? I mean, it has been a really bad month for us," she said.

Police say they also found skimmers at two Kansas City north banks near N. Flintlock Rd.

Gas pumps and ATM machines are two of the most common targets for skimmers. A skimming card reader is put right on top of the genuine card reader, and often the customer never notices. Once the customer puts their card into the card reader, the criminals have all the information they need to make a duplicate card using the victim's account numbers.

"Before you make any type of electronic transaction, make sure that everything looks normal on  the machine, feel it, make sure nothing pulls off of the card reader," said Tanner Morton, Preneta Payment Consulting. "Usually what they will do is use a piece of Velcro underneath, there's another device that goes on top, it may not fit right, it may be a different color. Anything that may throw it off."

Smith says it could take up to 90 days for the bank to credit her money back.




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